Tuesday, May 6, 2014

May Migrants

May and October are the most fun times to be an avian photographer on Long Island.  Migration is in full swing, the temps are good, the bugs aren't around and you never know what you will find, or where you'll find it.

While migration is always better in Nassau and NYC (due to geographical reasons and the concentrated areas of open spaces), Suffolk County has some good spots too even during the worst parts of the day.

Today I was doing some work near the Forge River and took a quick hike to see what I could find.  There were some wood ducks, which as always were very skittish, plenty of Towhee's with their distinctive call and ground movements, catbirds, jays and a slew of woodpeckers.  While there weren't many migrants I had the excellent fortune of having a Black and White Warbler pop up right in front of me.

After the Warbler flitted off up river, I noticed something on the other side - a Swamp Sparrow looking for bugs.  The vibrant greens of the newly emerging vegetation made for some excellent scenery of this bird as it successfully nabbed insect after insect.  I wish I was closer - but the distance wasn't too bad.

Aside from those birds, there were a few Blue-grey Gnatcatchers, buzzing away rather high in the canopy.  Though it was a small sample of birds, it was a fun afternoon walk and a great reminder that Nature abounds - even if it's only a few minutes of walking north of a major roadway.